Saffron Pulao
Saffron Pulao

The following recipe was used as part of the recently held MTR Cooking Masterclass with competition winners Lily Brown and her friends, and went down a treat!

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 300g Basmati Rice
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 green cardamom
  • 2 black cardamom
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 cloves
  • 1tsp black or regular cumin seeds
  • 5 whole almonds
  • 10 cashew nuts
  • 10 raisins
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • ½ cup yoghurt
  • ½ bunch coriander, chopped
  • ½ bunch mint, chopped
  • ½ tsp cumin powder
  • ½ tsp coriander powder
  • 2 tbsp fried onions
  • 0.5g saffron threads
  • 4tbsp milk, warm
  • 4tsp butter
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1½ cups water to 1 cup rice
  • 1 tbsp salt or to taste


Firstly, wash the rice twice and soak in enough water to cover the rice completely for half an hour. Take a few strands of dried saffron, crush them well and put in a mixing bowl. To it add a little warm milk and mix well. Set aside.

In a large pot, add a little oil. When the oil is hot, add the whole garam masala (Cinnamon sticks, cardamom, cloves, bay leaves) and cumin seeds. Add cashew nuts, almonds, raisins and sauté till a slightly golden colour then add chopped onions and sauté for a few mins before adding the ginger garlic paste. Add salt, the chopped coriander and mint leaves to give a nice flavour to the pulao. Add yoghurt, cumin powder and coriander powder to the onion mixture and mix well.

Lastly add the right amount of water as per the quantity of rice soaked and bring it to a boil. Once the water comes to boil, add the soaked rice (drained), mix delicately and allow the rice to cook.

When the water is almost absorbed and small holes appear on top, lower the heat to a simmer and sprinkle some fried onions on the top, saffron milk and a few knobs of butter. Close the lid and let it cook on a very low heat for another 5-10 mins. Remove lid, fork the rice and serve!

About Sushil Ravikumar

Sushil Ravikumar is a former Masterchef NZ contestant and enthusiastic fan of MTR Foods products. Sushil's recipes are designed to help unlock the flavours of India for N... View all posts by Sushil Ravikumar

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